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tv   MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle  MSNBC  November 15, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PST

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doing their business. >> this might actually start on time. >> mike pompeo doesn't get enough attention. there is two scenarios, he was helping to orchestrate the off book political campaign run by donald trump and rudy giuliani, or he was oblivious to what was being done to all of his employees. he was asked repeatedly to defend her, and we have on the record in testimony a call from the state department to yovanovitch at 1:00 in the morning where they say we need to get you out on the next plane. what did he do? i think the fact pattern is just as par real for mike cpompeo as trump. >> we know that mike pompeo was listening in on the phone call of which donald trump said of that former ambassador.
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that bad woman, bad things are going to happen to her and her former boss, secretary pompeo didn't do anything. >> lisa, you work at the state department for a republican administration. what impact does this have on the state department today and in the future. >> i agree with nicole that i think pompeo will ultimately suffer as much fallout as trump. you hear from former colleagues who are just horrified by what is going down in the building, and rex tillerson's administration may not have been that popular, but now, you hear people saying well, he decimated the foreign service, but it wasn't like he was just out w d outwardly hostile. people are pet trrified of retribution, of the lawlessness, and if you step up against that
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you're punished. so you're punished for upholding the value you took to protect american interests. >> we're waiting for the beginning of the impeachment inquiry. devin nunez sat down along with the council for majority. >> nicole this week the white house is saying this is much to do about nothing. they have said it has been not quite exciting enough. i found this to be about as gripping as anything i have ever seen in washington dc. you have people who are just laying out the facts and they're slowly but surely putting together this puzzle. so we can see, just how badly jump and his administration operated in ukraine. >> and maybe we're just old enough to remember the drama of the post cold war and national
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security movies that saw people like ambassador kent who stood on that line. making sure that america didn't tip in the wrong direction, and that just a word, a nod, the release or the speed with which military aide flows to russia's enemie enemies, these were things watch s ed to carefully around the room. he smashed decades of work. this is not about democratic witnesses or -- the republicans have been such jerks, they say they are nobody's star witness. they're american diplomats there to protect american national security. >> your father and mika's father dedicated their lives to promoting american values across the globe. defending american interests
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across the globe against the soviet union. and russia, a russia who now, they want to go back to the middle east, they want the world to believe that you craukraine part of the soviet union. they have said that ukraine is not a real country. >> in terms of his own political interests -- we just celebrated by dad's 99th birthday. and his generation, people who were public servants. they believed in america's purpose, we just celebrated the fall of the berlin wall. a moment in which caall of thos years of dedication lead to a kind of victory. i hope as people watch
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ambassador yovanovitch this morning, think of her out there on the front lines. she was an ambassador for 33 years and had that continually year after year. this is a wonderful moments and i hope americans think about their service. out there, serving their country. >> there she is walking into the room, mika, and the lineage is coming directly from your father, henry kissinger. all of the men and women, republican and democratics alike that dedicated their lives to protecting america and democratic values. their life's work obliterated in the last three years. >> and you get a sense when you
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hear her story of the insidiousness of it all and when it played out. i don't know if it is a crime or what it is, within the overall crime that the president will be impeached for, but tow have a sitting president threaten the life of an ambassador serving in a country in the middle of a hot war -- i don't know what i would call that, but that certainly adds to the very gripping nature and serious nature of what happened here. >> they're about to start here, we'll listen to chairman schiff as soon as he begins. i think the strength of the witnesses is reflected in the criticism, we heard they're boring, or on fox news making fun of their appearance or their water bottles.
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these are severe diplomats that served under democrats or republicans. they're not never trumpers or deep staters, that woman there is there to tell the truth. let's listen in. >> good morning, everyone. this is the second in a series of public hearings that the committee will be holding as part of the house's impeachment inquiry. the chair is able to declare recess at any time. we will proceed today in the same way as our first hearing. we will have opening statements and then turn to the statement for opening statement and questions. audience members, we respect your being here and we ask for your respect during this he hearing. as chairmanly maintain order to ensure the committee is ran with house rules and house resolution
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660. i recognize myself to give an opening statement in the impeachment inquiry to donald j. trump. in april 2019 the united states ambassador to ukraine, marie yovanovitch was called and told to get on the first plane back to washington. she was informed by her superiors that although she did nothing wrong she could not serve as ambassador to ukraine because she didn't have the confidence of the president. it was a stunning change of events nor diplomat. ambassador yovanovitch has been in the foreign service for 33 years and served much of that time in the former soviet union.
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her parents fled stalin, and then hitler, and ended in the united states. she known as an anti-corruption champion whose tour in kiev was viewed as very successful. michael mckinley said that from her first days, she was excellents with serious, and committed. i remember her being one of those people destined for greater things. her successor, acting chief, described her as very frank. she was very direct, made points clearly, and she was indeed tough on corruption and she named names. she was a strong person and made those charges. in her time in kiev, ambassador
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yovanovitch was tough on corruption, too tough for some and it made her enemieenemies. you can't promote principaled anti-corruption action without pissing off corrupt people, and she did not just piss off construct ukrainians. but also, certain americans like rudy giuliani, donald trump's personal attorney, and two individuals now dietindicted wi them. they had come to include the president's own son, don junior, promoted a smear campaign on her based on false allegations. there was an effort to push back to get a statement of support from secretary pompeo, but they
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failed when it became clear that president trump wanted her gone. so have argued that the president can nominate and remove whoever head wants. and that is true. the question is not whether or not he could recall an ambassador with a stellar reputation for fighting corruption in you yukraine, but would he want to. why did rudy rudy giuliani want gone. and why would they want to work with the same man that rudy giuliani played such a key role in the smear campaign against her. rudy giuliani made no secret about the question to open an
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investigation against the bidens. as he said in one interview, we're not meddling in an election, we're meddling in an investigation which we have a right to do. more recently he told cnn's chris cuomo, "of course i did" when asked if he pressed ukraine to investigate joe biden. and he has never been shy about who he is doing this work for, his client, the president. one powerful ally was the corrupt former promise cue tor general. the one powerful adversary lusenko had was named marie yovanovitch. in the july 25th call, trump brings up a corrupt prosecutor and praises him. he says he was very good and he
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was shut down and that is really unfair. but the woman known for fighting corruption, his own former ambassador, the woman smeared and driven from her post, the president does nothing but disparage, or worse, threaten. well, he have go through some things the president declares. that tells you a lot about the president's priorities and intentions. getting rid of ambassador yovanovitch help set the channel. most importantly, the 2020 political opponent that he apparently feared the most. they heard from acting
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ambassador taylor that they would press ukraine into these investigations and would push back but for the fact also that someone blue the witness. ambassador yovanovitch was serving our nation's interest, but she was considered an obstacle. for that she was smeared and cast aside. the powers of the presidency are immense. but they are not absolute. and they cannot be used for corrupt purpose. the american people expect their president to use the authority they grant him in the service of the nation. not to destroy others to advance his personal or political interests. and now i recognize ranking member nunes for his remarks. >> i thank the gentleman. it is unfortunate that today and
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for most of next week we will continue engaging in the democratics day long tv spectacles instead of involving the problems that we were all sent to washington to address. we have a major trade agreement with canada and mexico ready for approval. awe deal that would create jobs and boost our funding. we have a job for the government that expires next week along with funding for men and women in uniform. we have been convened once again to topple a dually elected president. i'll note that five, five democratics on this committee, had voted to impeach this president before the trump zelensky phone call occurred. they have vowed to get rid of
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him since he was elected. so he was used as an excuse for them to serve their water gate fantasies. but i'm glad that on wednesday after the democrats staged six weeks of secret depositions in the basement of the capital like a strange cult the american people got to see this as far as f -- farce for themselves. they saw hours of hearsay testimony. in other words, rumors. the problem of trying to overthrow a president based on this type of evidence is obvious. but that is what their whole case relies on.
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secondhand and third hand information cited by the whistle-blower. that's why democrats were forced to make the absurd argument that hearsay can be better evidence than direct evidence. committee republicans received a memo from the democrats threatening ethics reversals. no republicans here know the whistle-blower's hit because the whistle-blower only met with democrats. not with republicans. chairman schiff claimed he didn't know who it was and he blocked us from asking questions that could reveal his or her identity. republicans are left wondering how it is possible for him to
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block the questions of the claims of people that he claims not to know. republicans on this dias are used to them. any top i think aside from the ridiculous conspiracy theories that president trump is a russian agent. when you find yourself on the phone, like the democrats did with russian prank stesters offg you nude pictures of trump, as the democrats also did. that it might be time to ask yourself if you have gone out too far on a limb. and the funding of the steel dossier.
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the democrats were cooperating with that operation. this was the subject of a july 20th 2017 letter sent by senator grassly to then deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. it raised concerns about the activity of a contractor for the democratic national committee. who worked with ukrainian embassy officials to spread dirt on the trump campaign. at senator grassley wrote, her actions appear to show she was multi simultaneously working on behalf of the campaign. on an effort to influence the u.s. voting population and u.s. government officials.
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democrats on this committee ignore ukrainian election meddling even though chalupa admitted to the democrats scheme. like wide their blind to the blaring signs of corruption surrounding hunter biden's wael paid position while his father was vice president. but the democrats media hacks only cared about that issue wre briefly when they were trying to stop joe biden from running against hillary clinton in 2015. as i previously stated, these hearings should not be occurring at all until we get the answers to three crucial questions that the democrats refuse to ask. first, what is the full extent of the democrats prior coordination with the whistle-blower and who else do
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the whistle-blower coordinate this effort with. second what is the full extent of ukraine's election meddling against the trump campaign. and third, why did buresma hire hunter biden, what did he do for them, and did he affect any government actions under the obama administration. house democrats vowed they would not put the american people through a wrenching impeachment process without bipartisan support and they have not. add that to their ever growing list of broken promises and destructive deceptions. in closing, mr. chair, the president of the united states released his transcript right before the hearing began. i think it is important that we read this into the record yet so there is no confusion over this first phone call that occurred on april 21st with president
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elect zelensky. >> i would like to congratulate you on a job well done and congratulations on a fantastic collection. >> zelensky, good to hear from you, i appreciate the congratulations. >> the president: that was an incredible election. >> zelensky: thank you very much, as you see we tried very hard to do our best. we had you as a great example. >> the president: >> i think yi think you will do a great job, i have many friends from ukraine that know you and like you and expected you to win and it's really an amazing thing that you've done. i guess in a way i did something similar. we're making tremendous progress in the u.s. we have the most tremendous economy ever.
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i just want today congratulate you. i have no doubt you will be a fantastic president. >> zelensky: first, thank you so much for the congratulations, we in ukraine are independent and we're going to do everything for the people. you are, as i said, a great example. we're hoping we can expand on our jobs as you did. you will also be a great example for many. you're a great example for our new managers. i also would like to invite you if possible to the inauguration. i know how busy you are, but if it is possible for you to come to the inauguration ceremony that will be great. great for you to do to be with us on that day. >> the president: that is very nice, i'll look into that and give us a date at the very minimum we'll have a great representative or more from the united states will be with you on that great day. we'll have somebody at a minimum, a very, very high level, and will be with you.
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really an incredible day for an incredible achievement. >> zelensky: thank you, we're looking forward to your visit of a high level delegation, no words that can describe our country, how warm our people are, and how tasty our food is. it would be best for you to see it for yourself. if you could come, that would be great so again i invite you to come. >> the president: i agree with you about your country. when i had ms. universe, ukraine was always very well represented with nice people. when you're settled, i would like to invite you to the white house. we'll have a lot to talk about but we're with you all of the way. >> zelensky: thank you for the invitation, we look forward to the visit, the whole team and i
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are looking forward to the visit. i think it will still be great if you can come be with us on this important day, the results are incredible. they're very impressive for us, it is absolutely fantastic if you could come on that day. >> the president: very good, we'll let you know very soon and when see you soon regardless. say hello to your family and let them know i send my best regards. >> zelensky: thank you very much. >> the president: >> ta take care of yourself and give a good speech today. >> zelensky: i will practice my english. >> the president: good day, good
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luck. i'm glad i was able to read that into the record so the american people know the very first call that the president trump had with president zelensky. and with that i yield back the balance of my time. >> mr. chairman i have a parliamentary inquiry. >> i do want to comment -- >> i have a point of order under h-res 660 will the chairman continue to prohibit the witness from answering republican questions as you have done all this week. >> not a proper point of order, the gentlewoman will fwhot recognized. >> i have a point of order. >> the gentleman is not recognized. >> there are transcripts that have not been released. >> the ranking member was allowed to exceed the opening
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statement and i was happy to allow him to do so. i want to respond to the call record. first i'm grateful that the president has released the call record. i would now ask the president to release the thousands of other records he asked the state department not to relace including ambassador taylor's notes, his cable, george kent's memo, documents from the office of management budget about why the military aide was withheld. >> i want you to represent the -- >> the gentleman with l suspend. >> we ask the president to stop obstructing the impeachment inquiry. we are thankful for the single document, but he has obstructed witnesses and their testimony and the production of thousands and thousands of other records and finally i say this mr. president, i hope you will explain to the country today why it was after this call, and
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while the vice president was making plans to attend the inauguration that you instructed the vice president not to attend zelensky's inauguration. >> i have a point of order. >> we know clearly you're going to interrupt us throughout this hearing. >> the gentlewoman is not recognized. >> chairman -- >> gentleman is not recognized. today we're joined by ambassador marie yovanovitch. she was born in canada to parents that flaed the soviet union and the nazis. she became a naturalized american at 3 and entered the foreign service in 1986. she has been nominated by presidents of both partiepartie. george w. bush nominated her to serve for the republic where she serve from 2005 to 2008.
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president obama then nominated her to be ambassador to armenia. and the ambassador to ukraine from 2016 until she was recalled to washington this may. she held numerous other senior positions at the state department including in the bureau of european and eurasia affairs. she also previously served. she received multiple honors for her diplomatic work including her distinguished service award. two final points, first witness depositions as part of this your classified in open hearings.
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any information that may touch. congress will not tolerate any reprisal, threat of reprisal, or threat of an official testifying before congress. if you would please rise and raise your right hand i will begin by swearing you in. do you swear or affirm that the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? let the record show that the witness answered in the affirm di ative. thank you, with that ambassador marie yovanovitch, you're recognized for your opening statement. >> mr. chairman, ranking member nunez and other members of the committee. >> you'll need to speak very close to the microphone. >> thank you for the opportunity to start with this statement. to reintroduce myself to the committee, and to highlight
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parts of my biography and experience. i come before you as an american citizen who devoted the majority of my life, 33 years, to service to the country that all of us love. like my colleagues, i entered the foreign service understanding that my job was to implement the foreign policy interests of this nation as defined by the president and congress teen congress, and to do so regardless of which person or party was in power. i had no agenda other than to pursue our stated foreign policy goals. my service is an expression of gratitude. my late parents did not have the good fortune to come of age in a free society. my father flaed ted the soviets.
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my mother fled after the revolution, and she grew up stateless before also making her way to the united states. their personal histories and my personal history gave me grate dwr gratitude for the united states. i joined the foreign service in the reagan administration and served three other republican presidents and two other democratic presidents. it was an honor to be nominated by two presidents. let me tell you about my reality. it has not always been easy. i have moved 13 times and served
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in seven different countries. my first tour was in somali, an increasingly dangerous place as that country's civil war kept grinding on and the government was weakening. the military took over policing functioning in a particularly brutal way, and basic services disappeared. several years later, after the soviet union collapsed, i helped open our embassy in uzbekistan. as we were establishing connections, we were attacked by a gunman that sprayed the embassy with gunfire. imoscow. in 1993 i was caught in cross fire between presidential and parliamentary forces. it took three tries, without a helmet or body armor to get in a
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vehicle to go to the embassy and we went because the ambassador asked us to come and we went because it was our duty. from august 2016 to may 2019 i served as u.s. ambassador to ukraine. in my tenure in ukraine, i went to the front line approximately ten times in a hot war to show the american flag, to hear what was going on, sometimes literally as we heard the impact of artillery, and to see how our assistance dollars were being put to use. i worked to advance u.s. policy fully embraced by democrats and republicans align ke to help th become a stable market. a secure democratic and free ukraine serves not just the ukrainian people but the american people as well. that is why it is our policy to
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match objectives. the u.s. is the most powerful country in the history of the world. it is in large part because of our values. ukraine with an enormous land mass and large population has a potential to be a significant commercial and political partner for the united states as well as a force multiplier on the security side. we see the potential. russia sees by contrast, sees the risk. the history is not written yet, but you crane could move out of russia's orbit, and now ukraine is a battleground for great power competition with a hot war for the control of territory and a hybrid war to control
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ukraine's leadership. the u.s. provided significant security assistance. and the trump administration strengthenned our policy by improving the provision to ukraine. supporting ukraine is the right thing to do. it is also the smart things to do. if russia prevails, and ukraine falls to russian doe mminion wen expect to see other attempts to expand territory and influence. ukraine's democracy has an equally important challenge. corruption makes ukraine's leaders vulnerable to russia and the yukrainian people understan
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that. they are demanding to live under the rule of laud. ukrainians want the law to apply equally to all people, whether the individual in question is the president or someone else. there is a coincidence of interesting. corrupt leaders are less trustworthy, but an honest rip is more valuable to the united states. a level playing field bordering four nato allies creates an environment that u.s. business can more easily trade and profit. corruption is also a security issue. corrupt officials are vulnerable to moscow. in short it is in america's
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national security interest to help ukraine transform into a country where the rule of law governo governs and the u.s. is held in check. significant progress has been made since the 2014 revolution of dignity. unfortunately, as the pass couple months have underlined, not all ukrainians embrace our work. it is not surprising that when our anticorruption efforts got in the way, ukrainians that look to play by the old moves sought to remove me. we found americans working together and they succeeded in orchestrating the removal of a u.s. ambassador. how could our system fail like this? how could foreign interests
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manipulate our government. what interests are served when the corrupt behavior that we have been criticizing is allowed to prevail. such conduct under mines the u.s., exposes our playing field. our leadership depends on the power of our example and the consistency of our purpose. both have now been opened to question. with that background in mind, i would like to griefly address some of the factual issues that i expect you may want to ask me about starting with the timeline in ukraine and the events that i do and do not have firsthand knowledge. i arrived in ukraine on august 22nd 2016 and left permanently on may 20th, 2019. there are a number of events
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you're investigating to which i don't have any knowledge. it includes the release of the so-call so-called black ledger. and, the departure from office of former prosecutor general victor shohem. several other events occurred after ukraine, the discussions surrounding that phone kcall, ad the delay of security assistance. as for events during my tenure in ukraine, i want to reiterate first that the allegation that i asemila asemilated a do not prosecute list is false. i did not tell mr. leschenko who
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they should or should not pros kus. and ukrainian law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges should not yielding their power selectively and start dealing with all consistently and according to the law. also untrue, our unsourced allegations that i told unidentified embassy employees or ukrainian officials that president trump's orders should be ignored because he would be impeached or for any other reason, i did not and i would not say such a thing. such statements will be inconsistent with my training as a foreign service officer and my role as an ambassador. the obama administration did not ask me to help the clinton campaign or harm the trump campaign. nor would i have taken any such
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steps if they had. partisanship of this tooip is not compatible with the role of a career foreign service officer. i have never met hunter biden nor have i had direct or indirect conversations with him. and i have met with president biden several times, neither he or the previous administration ever raised the issue with me. with respect to mayor giuliani. i have had only minimal contact with him, three, nonrelated to the events at issue. i don't understand his motives for attacking me nor can i offer an opinion on the allegations that he spread about me. he should have known that those claims were suspect, coming as
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they reportedly did from individuals with question able motives and reasons to believe they're political ambitions would be stimed. after being asked by the under secretary of state for political affairs to exextetend my tour i 2020, it is a new public faze in the united states. state but department officials suggested an earlier departure and we agreed on may 23, 2019. i was tolded weeks before that to come back on the next plain. ukraine just completed game changing presidential elections. it was a sensitive period, and
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it called for all of the expertise that we could muster. when i returned to the united states, there was a concerted campaign against me. the president no longer wished me to serve as ambassador to the ukraine, and the president had been pushing for my remove value. as mr. sullivan recounted, neither he nor anyone else ever explained or sought to justify the concerns about me, nor did anyone suggest that i had done something wrong. i appreciate that mr. sullivan publicly affirmed that i serv servedabserved capably and admirablely. i have always understood that i served at the pleasure of the president, but i find it difficult to comprehend that foreign and private interests were able to under mine us in
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this way. the stated u.s. policy against corruption to do our mission were able to successfully conduct a campaign of disinformation against a sitting ambassador using a back channels. they share baseless allegations with the president and convinced him to remove his ambassador despite the fact that they understand it was false. these events should concern everyone in this room. ambassadors are the symbol of the united states abroad. they're the personal representative of the president. they should always act and speak with full authority to advocate for u.s. policies. it can limit our effectiveness to safeguard the vital national
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security interests of the united states in is especially important now when the landscape is more competitive than it has been since the dissolution. they have learned how little it takes to remove an american ambassad ambassador. what official could be blocked or not when wondering what ambassador could be blamed and they can't count on our government to implemented stated u.s. policy and protect and defend u.s. interests. i would like to comment on one other matter. at the closed deposition, i expressed grave concerns about the degradation of the foreign
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service over the past few years and the fall yur of state department leadership to push back as foreign and corrupt interests hijack our policy. and other that's have declined to acknowledge that the attacks against me and others are dang rougsly wrong. this is about far far more than me or a couple of individuals. as foreign service professionals are being denigrated the institution will also be denigrated. the state department has a tool of fornls policy and does not often get the same attention or respect as the military might of the pentagon. we are the pointy end of the spear. if we lose our edge, the u.s. will inevitably have to use other tools even more than it does today. those other tools are blunter,
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more expensive, and not y univers universally effective. more over the attacks are leading to a crisis in the state department as the policy process is visibly unraveling. positions are going unfilled and officers ponder an uncertain future. the crisis proved from the impact on individuals to an impact on the institution itself. the state department is being hollowed out from begin at a competitive and complex time on the world stage. this is not a time to under cut or diplomats. it is them, today, making it the most diplomatic force in the world. and congress has a responsibility to reinvest in our diplomacy. that is an invexment of our national security.
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an investment in our future and our children's future. let me be clear on who we are and how we serve this country. we're professionals, public servant that's by vocation and training pursue the policies of the president regardless of who holds that office or what party they affiliate with. we handle american service services. work security issues. represent the use, and report to washington. and we make a difference every day. we repeatedly uproot our lives, risk, and sometimes give our lives for this country. we're the 52 americans who 42 years ago though month started 244 days of captivity in tehran.
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dozens that were stationed in cuba and consulates in china that mysteriously and permanently were injured and attacked from unknown sources several years ago. and we are ambassador chris stephens, sean patrick smith, ty woods, and glendon dougherty. people called heros for their actions in libya eight years ago. we honor these individuals. they represent each one of you here and every american. these courageous individuals were attacked they symbolized america. what you need to know, what americans need to know, is that while thankfully most of us answer the call to duty in far less dramatic ways, every foreign service officer runs the same risks and very often so do our families. they serve, too, as individuals
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as a community, we answer the call to duty to advance and protect the interests of the united states. we take our both seriously. the same oath that each one of you take. to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same. i count myself lucky to be a foreign service officer, fortunate to serve with the best america has to offer. blessed to serve the american people for the last 33 years. i thank you for your attention. i welcome your questions. >> thank you, ambassador. we count ourselves lucky to have you serve the country as you have for decades. we'll now move to the 45-minute rounds. i rec noise myself and majority counsel for 45 minutes. ambassador yovanovitch, thank you again for appearing today. all americans are deeply in your debt.
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before i hand it over to mr. goldman, our staff counsel, i want to ask you about a few pivotal events of interest to the country. first of all, was fighting corruption in ukraine a key element of u.s. policy and one on which you placed the highest priority? >> yes, it was. >> and can you explain why? >> it was important, and it was actually stated in our policy and in our strategy, it was important because corruption was undermining the integrity of the governance system in ukraine. and as i noted in my statement, countries that have leaders that are honest and trustworthy make better partners for us. countries where there is a level playing field for our u.s. business makes it easier for our companies to do business there,
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to trade and to profit in those countries. and what had been happening since the soviet union, and this is very much a soviet legacy, is that corrupt interests were undermining not only the governance, but also the economy of ukraine. we see enormous potential in ukraine and would like to have a more capable, more trustworthy partner there. >> and i know this may be awkward for you to answer since it's a question about yourself and your reputation. but is it fair to say that you earned a reputation for being a champion of anti-corruption efforts in ukraine? >> yes. >> i don't know if you had a chance to watch george kent's testimony yesterday, but would you agree with his rather frank assessment that if you fight corruption, you're going to piss off some corrupt people? >> yes. >> and in your efforts fighting corruption to advance u.s. policy interest, did you anger some of the corrupt leaders in ukraine? >> yes. >> was one of those corrupt
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people prosecutor general less senk oh? >> yes. i believe. >> was one of those another corrupt prosecutor named victor shokin? >> apparently so, although i've never met him. >> at some point did you come to learn that leschchenko and shookin were talking to rudy giuliani? >> yes. >> the denial of the veisa was based on mr. shokin's corruption? >> yes. that's true. >> and was it mr. leschchenko who pedaled false accusations against you as well as the bidens? >> yes. that is my understanding. >> and were these smears so amplified by the president's son
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donald trump jr., as well as certain hosts on fox? >> yes. yes, that is the case. >> in the face of this smear campaign did colleagues at the state department try to get a statement of support for you from secretary pompeo? >> yes. >> were they successful? >> no. >> did you come to learn that they couldn't issue such a statement because they feared it would be undercut by the president? >> yes. >> and then were you told that though you had done nothing wrong, you did not enjoy the confidence of the president and could no longer serve as ambassador? >> yes, that is correct. >> in fact, you flew home from kiev on the same day as the inauguration of the new president? >> that's true. >> the inauguration was attended by ambassador sondland, volker and perry, was it? >> yes. >> and three days after the inauguration, in a meeting with president trump, are you aware
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that the president designated these three amigos to coordinate ukraine policy with rudy giuliani? >> since then i have become aware of that. >> this is the same rudy giuliani who orchestrated the smear campaign against you? >> yes. >> and the same rudy giuliani who, during the now im famous july 25th phone call recommended to zelensky the investigations the president wanted in the 2016 election and the bidens? >> yes. and finally, ambassador, in that july 25th phone call, the president praises one of these corrupt former ukrainian prosecutors and says they were treated very unfairly. they were treated unfairly, not you, who was smeared and recalled, but one of them. what message does that send to your colleagues in the u.s. embassy in kiev? >> i'm just not sure what the
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basis for that kind of a statement would be. certainly not from our reporting over years. >> did you have concern, though, or do you have concern today about what message the president's actions sends to the people who are still in ukraine representing the united states when a well-respected ambassador can be smeared out of her post with the participation and acquiescence of the president of the united states? >> well, i think it's been a big hit for morale, both at u.s. embassy kiev, but also more broadly in the state department. >> is it fair to say that other ambassadors and others of lesser rank who serve the united states in embassies around the world might look at this and think if i take on corrupt people in these countries, that could happen to me?
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>> i think that's a fair statement, yes. >> mr. goldman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> ambassador yovanovitch, on april 24th of this year at approximately 10:00 p.m. you received a telephone call while you were at the embassy in kiev from the director general of the state department. this was just three days after president zelensky's election and the call between president trump and president zelensky that we just heard from ranking member nunes. at the time that this urgent call came in, what were you in the middle of doing? >> i was hosting an event in honor of an anti-corruption activist in ukraine. we had given her the woman of courage award from ukraine and,
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in fact, the worldwide woman of courage event at the worldwide women of courage event in washington, d.c., secretary pompeo singled her out for her amazing work in ukraine to fight corrupt interests in the south of ukraine. she very tragically died because she was attacked by acid and several months later died a very, very painful death. we thought it was important that justice be done for her and others who fight corruption in ukraine, because this is not kind of a table top exercise there. lives are in this balance. we gave her father, who of course is still mourning her, that award, the woman of courage event. >> and her woman of courage
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award stemmed from her anti-corruption efforts in ukraine? >> yes. that is true. >> was it ever determined who threw the acid and killed her? >> there have been investigations, but while some of the lower-ranking individuals that were involved in this have been arrested, those who ordered this have not yet been apprehended. >> after you stepped away from this anti-corruption event to take this call, what did the director general tell you? >> she said that there was great concern on the seventh floor of the state department. that's where the leadership of the state department sits. there was great concern. they were worried. she just wanted to give me a heads up about this and things seemed to be going on. so she wanted to give me a heads up. hard to know how to react to something like that, i asked her what was it about, w


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